Over the last 28 hours, we have participated in a Scotland-wide educational project about life before electricity. Participants were chosen at random by the raging storm that passed through the North at tornado-speed bringing down trees and power lines all over the country.
28 hours without power. How does one cope??! The kids were baffled and amazed. No telly, no light, no heating, hot water, microwave, fridge, phone... No INTERNET!!! Can one survive like that? Is life still worth living?
Half way into the evening I found a disparate son in the darkening living room. He had wrapped himself in a blanket against the cold and was staring forlornly at the tv. When I asked what he was doing, he said he was 'resting'. Poor soul. Habits are so hard to break. It WAS his usual telly time.
Thankfully, I was exposed to a generous number of camping holidays in my youth, so I could share valuable life lessons like 'playing cards by candlelight' and 'boiling water in a saucepan' (yes, it can be done without a kettle!) and 'doing the dishes by hand'. 'Having an early night' was another one.
Still, when the juice wasn't back by 6 pm this evening, even I was getting electricity withdrawal symptoms. In my case they manifested in staring at my full washing machine and fretting over the freezer.
Panic set in when I almost ran out of battery on my mobile - the last remaining link to the outside world short of actually leaving the house and talking to the neighbours. So I used my last remaining minutes to phone a friend in Kinross. 'Can I invite myself to your house and charge my phone? Now?!' is not one of my usual conversation openers. I don't see this friend very often. I got a catch up and a hot cup of tea in the bargain. Maybe they should switch of the juice more often?